James Whitesel Hayworth

by Lee Witt

My Great Grand Father is James Whitesel Hayworth.  He was born on February 27, 1833 and died in Fort Worth, Tarrant County, Texas on November 03, 1899.  He was married to Georgia Frances Elizabeth Lyons on August 30, 1885 in Benton County, Arkansas.  They had six daughters, Mary Francis May Hayworth, Mattie Whitesel Hayworth, Ada Floy Hayworth, Daisy Floyd Hayworth (my Grand Mother) Lillie Iora Josephine Hayworth and Della Nancy Lee Hayworth.   

My Great Grand Father was born a Quaker and still talked in the Quaker fashion.  He was a minister in the area of Bloomfield - Cherokee City, Benton County Arkansas before moving his family to Fort Worth, Texas.  And he owned and worked an apple orchard in Benton County.  He had a wife, before Georgia and we knew only that her name was Elizabeth D. with a possible last name of Dorsey or Dorsett.  My Grand Mother told stories of James and said that Elizabeth died just after they moved to Benton County from Missouri.  And that one of her sisters, Mattie Whitesel, pasted away while they were in Benton County.  Both Mattie and Elizabeth were buried in a small cemetery in Cherokee City.  I found that cemetery, Kellam Cemetery, in the back pasture of a man’s farm.  The headstone for Elizabeth gave no mention of her maiden name.     

For the longest time this was all that we knew of my Great Grand Father and knew nothing of is parents, siblings and his early years before marring my Great Grand Mother.

I searched on line, in county records and soon found the Haworth Association website. There I found a James W. Haworth born the same year as my Great Grand Father and from a Quaker family.   But they had no other information on James but his name and date of birth.  I search Quaker sources and found that particular Haworth family but could not find any birth record which would state James middle name, only “W”.    

I have since stumbled across an old bulletin board posting on the “Haworth Family Forum” from a Doris Harder.  She states in her posting that she was going through her grandparents old photos and found a picture, written on the back was, “Uncle Jimmy Haworth and Family.  Jimmy was father’s uncle, lived in Arkansas.”  Doris described the photo as being of, “a bearded man holding two girls, a woman holding an infant, and a little girl standing beside her Mom. I believe this would have been James W. Haworth brother of Benjamin Hill Haworth.  I can make copies if anyone is interested.  Doris Harder”    

Benjamin Hill Haworth is the brother of James W. Haworth as described in the Haworth Associations web site.  Parents of Benjamin and James are Richard & Mary Hill Haworth.  I also found Benjamin’s brother, Richard and his family in county records for Benton County Arkansas where my Great Grand Father James Whitesel owned land a short distance from Richard.  I also located a marriage record where a James W. Hayworth (last name is spelled with a “Y”) preformed the marriage of Richard’s son, James Oliver Howard Haworth.  I believed that I had found my Great Grand Fathers family but couldn’t get past the middle name, “W” and “Whitesel”.  I could find no documentation for this James W. Haworth which showed his middle name, other than “W”.  During my search of documents I found in many incidents where the last name is spelled as Haworth and Hayworth for the same person.   

I have a family portrait of my Great Grand Parents with James holding the twins Ada and Daisy, and their oldest daughter, Mary Frances, standing next to Georgia who is holding Lillie. This photo had written on the back, in my Great Aunt’s, Della, own handwriting, the identification of everyone in the photograph.   

I e-mailed Doris and asked for a copy or scan of that photo.  After some long searching and months later, she found the photo again and sent me a copy.  The two photos are the same photo!  So after some 10 years of looking I now know that my Great Grand Father James Whitesel Hayworth and James W. Haworth are one in the same. 

By the way, the Kellam Cemetery, in what is now Gentry, Benton County, Arkansas, is being restored and maintained by my wife, Cindy and myself along with a cousin, Karen Digby and her husband Charles, who I recently found living in Gentry Arkansas. She is the descendant of James Oliver Howard Haworth, who my Great Grand Father James Whitesel married in 1884. 


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